Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Safeguarding and Road Safety) Bill

I join hon. Members in congratulating my hon. Friend
the Member for Darlington (Peter Gibson) on bringing forward such an important Bill. I remember well that being drawn out of the private Member’s Bill ballot, particularly as a relatively new Member of the House, can be something of a mixed blessing. A Member normally only really finds out they have been successful and got one of the higher places in the ballot when, suddenly, their email inbox starts pinging 100 times a minute. They are suddenly far, far more popular than they have been for a long time, with any number of organisations, non-governmental organisations, charities, campaign groups and Government Departments on the telephone with helpful advice on issues they might wish to consider bringing forward. That lasts until they announce the title of their Bill, when suddenly the calls stop and the emails stop, and the work really begins.

A private Member’s Bill can be a huge amount of work—preparing and drafting the Bill, navigating the legislative process, building support, finding supporters, negotiating with Opposition parties and finding Members for the Bill Committee. I know my hon. Friend the Member for Darlington will have done a huge amount of work over the past eight months. It is thanks to that work that we are at the point of hopefully completing this House’s consideration of the Bill this morning. That is a tribute to his effort and his effectiveness in bringing people together behind a very sensible set of proposals.

My hon. Friend was typically generous to
the hon. Member for Cambridge (Daniel Zeichner) for all the work he did on the predecessor Bill, which laid so much of the groundwork. I think it was Isaac Newton who said he was standing on the shoulders of giants; I do not know whether my hon. Friend would put it in quite such terms, but I am sure the sentiment applies.